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Honors Thesis Archive

Author Monica R. Karsai
Title Distinguishing Between Rational and Experiential Information Processing Styles
Department Psychology
Advisors Jeffrey Brookings, Josephine Wilson, and Adam Parker
Year 2009
Honors University Honors
Full Text View Thesis (137 KB)
Abstract The purpose of this study was to examine differences in rational and experiential thinking styles. Eight measures were used in conjunction with the Rational-Experiential Inventory to determine strengths and weaknesses of each style. The rational style correlated with academic measures, reasoning ability, self-control, and creativity. Also, the rational group scored significantly better than the experiential group on academic measures and reasoning skills and marginally significant on creativity. The experiential style was positively associated with social skills (emotional support and conflict management). All of the significant results confirmed the hypotheses, except for the prediction that the rational group would score worse on creativity than the experiential group. Finally, the variables that discriminated significantly between the rational and experiential groups were, in descending order, Cognitive Reflection, Grade Point Average, and ACT/SAT composite scores.

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